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Helpful Consumer Information
The FACT Act, which is an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), requires each of the nationwide credit-reporting companies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. These three agencies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report. Accessing this website will provide you with valuable information about your credit report.
To order your free Annual Credit Report:
- Visit the website AnnualCreditReport.com and request your free credit report online.
- Call 1-877-322-8228.
- Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Do not contact the three nationwide credit-reporting companies individually. They provide free annual credit reports only through the above avenues. You may choose to order your three free reports from each of three nationwide reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your free report from each of the companies one at a time throughout the year. Remember, the law allows you to order one free copy of your report from each of the nationwide credit-reporting companies every 12 months.
A Warning About “Imposter” Websites
Only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report to which you are entitled under law — AnnualCreditReport.com. Other websites that claim to offer “free credit reports,” “free credit scores” or “free credit monitoring” are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program. In some cases, the “free” product comes with strings attached. For example, some sites may offer you a “free” service for a limited trial period. If you don’t cancel during the trial period, you may be unwittingly agreeing to let the company start charging fees to your credit card.
Some “imposter” sites use terms like “free report” in their names; others have URLs that purposely misspell AnnualCreditReport.com in the hope that you will mistype the name of the official site. Some of these “imposter” sites direct you to other sites that try to sell you something or collect your personal information.
AnnualCreditReport.com and the nationwide credit-reporting companies will not send you an email asking for your personal information. If you get an email, see a pop-up ad or get a phone call from someone claiming to be from AnnualCreditReport.com or any of the three nationwide credit-reporting companies, do not reply or click on any link in the message. It’s probably a scam. Forward any such email to the FTC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filing a Complaint
The FTC has responsibility for enforcing the FCRA and works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, visit ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.